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Amsterdam Light Festival

Nov 28, 2016 – Jan 17,2017

Lightwaves is designed by designer Jólan van der Wiel and architects Benthem Crouwel Architects for the Amsterdam Light Festival. The artwork can be seen on the Herengracht at the Blauwbrug, best seen from the Amstel River.

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. One of these is the sea sparkles, a single-cell marine-dwelling species, that lights up when disturbed by waves.

Fascinated by this luminous effect, the team started wondering how they could make a building react to an external force like wind, in such a visible and spectacular way.

Their research led to the realization of a prototype consisting in a semi transparent veil sparkling up thousands of LED cells under air flows. Besides generating lights effects, Lightwaves makes the action of wind visible.


Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual light art festival in Amsterdam. Artists, architects and (light) designers from all over the world bring their light artworks and installations alive during the festival every winter. The artworks are placed alongside two routes. Each route has their own theme, set of artworks and visitor experience. Water Colors, the boat rout, displays big monumental objects and offers visitors the chance to experience the art from a water perspective. Illuminade, the walking route, shows interactive and innovative installations from upcoming designers in the Plantage neighborhood.

For more information, visit Amsterdam Light Festival.